Schalit, Abraham Chaim

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SCHALIT, ABRAHAM CHAIM (1898–1979), historian. Born in Zolochev, Galicia, Schalit studied classics at Vienna University. He settled in Ereẓ Israel in 1929 and worked in various posts. In 1950 he became a lecturer in Jewish history at The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and professor in 1957. His most important work was Hordos ha-Melekh ("King Herod," 1960) for which he received the Israel Prize for Jewish Studies (1960). The book was translated in an enlarged form into German, Koenig Herodes (1969). Not only a comprehensive study of Herod, it is also a brilliant analysis of the structure of Roman rule in Palestine, a subject to which Schalit had previously devoted his Ha-Mishtar ha-Roma'i be-Ereẓ Yisrael ("Roman Rule in Ereẓ Israel," 1937). Schalit's other important field of research was the writings of Josephus. In numerous articles he dealt with several aspects of the historian's method and sources; he also wrote an introduction to, and translated into Hebrew, Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews (Books 1–10, 1947; 11–20, 1963), as well as a concordance of all names appearing in Josephus' works, Namenwoerterbuch zu Flavius Josephus (1968). Schalit was divisional editor of the Encyclopaedia Judaica for the Second Temple period.

[Isaiah Gafni]